Telstra scores patent win over Amazon

Telstra scores patent win over Amazon

Summary: Telstra has won a marathon court battle against Amazon in a Canberra patents court over the legitimacy of its "1-click buy" patent, a method of purchase that speeds up customer transactions.

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TOPICS: Legal, Amazon, Telcos, Telstra
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Telstra has won a marathon court battle against Amazon in a Canberra patents court over the legitimacy of its "1-click buy" patent, a method of purchase that speeds up customer transactions.

Amazon.com

(Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

Amazon's 1-click buy facility speeds up transactions by using pre-filled payment and shipping information to avoid a customer re-entering this information for every purchase.

The delegate of the Commissioner of Patents, Ed Knock, found this week that Amazon's 1-click buy facility "lacks novelty [and] an inventive step", making Amazon's claim unpatentable.

Amazon's patent application included 141 claims, 60 of which were deemed invalid by the court. To be successful, a patent must not contain any invalid claims.

Knock acknowledged, however, that Amazon's patent application did include some original material and granted the online retailer 60 days to amend the application in compliance with patent regulations.

"If suitable amendments are not proposed within that time, I will refuse the application," he added.

Telstra told ZDNet Australia in a statement that it welcomes the decision.

"Telstra is very pleased that its opposition to registration of Amazon's patent was successful and that costs were awarded against Amazon," it said in a statement.

"Amazon's patent application now cannot be granted unless Amazon applies to successfully amend or narrow the scope of its application," the telco added.

ZDNet Australia contacted Amazon for comment, but had not received a response at the time of publication.

Amazon has been ordered to pay Telstra's legal costs in the matter.

Topics: Legal, Amazon, Telcos, Telstra

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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5 comments
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  • Why are other sites reporting this as Telstra have lost? http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Telstra-loses-Amazon-patent-ruling-report-pd20110510-GQQCA?OpenDocument&src=hp8
    sambojambo-d5b6b
  • @ sambojambo, The other reports are correct - this article is not correct. Telstra have only knocked out about half of Amazon's claims. Importantly, the claims that still stand are broad in scope. There is a good summary of the whole decision at this blog: http://blog.patentology.com.au/2011/05/telstra-scores-pyrrhic-victory-in.html
    Venom-2915e
  • And the 2 base level programmers on both sides probably dont even get a mention.

    What happened to the days when patents were for inventions that required for some thought behind them. Has anyone filed a patent on "Using a computer to sort alphabetically" yet?
    xBeanie
  • Hi SamboJambo and Venom,
    Thanks for reading the piece. A few clarifications here around your comments:

    We contacted IP Australia, Telstra and Amazon and thoroughly read through the judgement documents around the case to produce this article.

    I can't say exactly why The Australian Financial Review and Business Spectator (who followed it with an "according to" piece) have reported a Telstra loss, as this isn't the case.

    Telstra's head of corporate communications told us that the AFR article was in fact incorrect and expressed the company's excitement over the win. IP Australia also confirmed that this round went to Telstra based on Ed Knock's findings.

    On the use of the word win, you are right Venom, this isn't an out and out victory for Telstra as it were and thanks for the link to that great piece. As I mentioned in the article Amazon has 60 days to reply. I apologise for not making this more clear.

    We'll continue to follow this story and report any new developments as they happen.

    Cheers,
    Luke Hopewell
    Journalist | ZDNet Australia
    LHopewell
  • Very well handled comment response Luke.
    jeromy-6e440